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Brief Thoughts On Maps

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Yes, I saw that. I thought it was odd to show one passing straight through St Albans and Hatfield. Possibly limitations of the scale - can't show every twist and turn.

Pipelines tend to go through towns. That's why they are there.

That's not to say there may be an element of joining the dots on the Soviet cartography side.

As a boring side-note I was trained to count the number of insulators on East German electricity pylons because that reveals the voltage being transmitted and highlights the high priority targets.
 

load_fin

War Hero
That’s that answered, regional seats of government or “Secret Bunkers” don’t appear to be specifically marked.

The building below is Hack Green, due south of Nantwich. I’m fairly sure it is the actual building too as there’s cock all else around there but no special marking. Maybe they had a different set of maps for high value targets because I can’t believe they’d not be interested in that?

View attachment 512370
Bloody hell, my farm is on that map!
 
….As a boring side-note I was trained to count the number of insulators on East German electricity pylons because that reveals the voltage being transmitted and highlights the high priority targets.

Not boring at all, I do a bit of that myself on my travels! Occasionally spot 11kV and 33kV together, one each side on the same line of poles.
 

Zhopa

War Hero
It is most likely a Soviet guess to join up the dots.

It looks like it. On another extremely long and suspiciously straight stretch on the same map there is the notation "нанесен схематически", literally "appended schematically", but actually nicely ambiguous in Russian because depending on which meaning of схематически you prefer it could mean either (1) it's just a diagram bearing the same relationship to the real layout as a Tube map does to actual Tube lines, or (2) it's just a rough guess.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
It looks like it. On another extremely long and suspiciously straight stretch on the same map there is the notation "нанесен схематически", literally "appended schematically", but actually nicely ambiguous in Russian because depending on which meaning of схематически you prefer it could mean either (1) it's just a diagram bearing the same relationship to the real layout as a Tube map does to actual Tube lines, or (2) it's just a rough guess.

They both mean it's not where the pipeline (or Tube) actually runs.
 

Zhopa

War Hero
That might explain the question about the purple graduations, but there are a few lines with the regular dots, black and open. They're not all straight or at 90 degrees to each other.

That's right - in addition to the pipelines discussed elsewhere, you've also got lat-long grid (running top left to bottom right as @Brotherton Lad explained) and a Soviet grid system (purple, straight top to bottom) to contend with.

I'll see if I can find a part of the bottom edge of one of them showing them both together. Tomorrow.
 
Soviet written place-names mean as much to me, and probably them, as spoken Welsh place names. They'd have all been lost forever in the valleys. Bad enough trying to ask for directions in BBC English down that Wales nowadays.
 

wheel

LE
This extract is Crewe to Alsager which apart from not being terribly accurate, has an interesting annotation in a different font to other place names. It’s also underlined.

I don’t read Russian but I’m reasonably certain I know why. It’s Radway Green, site of the ammunition factory.

View attachment 512126
You are correct. It was allegedly built there because it is in a shallow depression that is often shrouded in mist and fog.
 
The fonts are connected with the size of each place.

Which by the legend as you describe makes sense. However, at Radway Green there’s no place, just the ammo factory. I’m guessing the cartographers were also a guessing a bit.

I think it may be possible that they were working to out of date information? The example of the relative sizes of Sandbach and Holmes Chapel that I used earlier may bear this out? The publication date is 1980s but there are annotations in the map margin that include 1942. Could it be that these annotations indicate the origin of some information? That would make sense as Sandbach had grown considerably in the intervening years, Holmes Chapel hadn’t, as evidenced by the age of the buildings.

Im guessing Crewe will have been of some interest as suggested by your comments on numbered areas? Huge railway infrastructure.

Another interesting (to me at least) item on the Red Atlas website is a description of Exeter, another town I know well. It describes in considerable detail things like utilities, terrain and river characteristics, very obviously designed with armoured warfare and logistics in mind, followed by civilian control. It is also very obviously written by someone with detailed local knowledge, down to crane loading capabilities in the port. All those Corbyns running around.

 
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Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Which by the legend as you describe makes sense. However, at Radway Green there’s no place, just the ammo factory. I’m guessing the cartographers were also a guessing a bit.

I think it may be possible that they were working to out of date information? The example of the relative sizes of Sandbach and Holmes Chapel that I used earlier may bear this out? The publication date is 1980s but there are annotations in the map margin that include 1942. Could it be that these annotations indicate the origin of some information? That would make sense as Sandbach had grown considerably in the intervening years, Holmes Chapel hadn’t, as evidenced by the age of the buildings.

Im guessing Crewe will have been of some interest as suggested by your comments on numbered areas? Huge railway infrastructure.

Another interesting (to me at least) item on the Red Atlas website is a description of Exeter, another town I know well. It describes in considerable detail things like utilities, terrain and river characteristics, very obviously designed with armoured warfare followed by civilian control in mind.


All of that. We did similar mapping tours in the East by hand. Hours and hours of it to map a US counter-thrust from Bavaria into Thuringia.

Percentage leaf cover, distances between tree trunks, average diameter of trunks, any serious obstacles such as steep embankments. Grade of forest tracks.

The 50000 maps we used were a mix of 1920s German ones (well out of date but superb quality) and US ones derived from satellites (up to date but low resolution). I preferred the German ones and used my imagination to interpret what had changed over half a century.
 
All of that. We did similar mapping tours in the East by hand. Hours and hours of it to map a US counter-thrust from Bavaria into Thuringia.

Percentage leaf cover, distances between tree trunks, average diameter of trunks, any serious obstacles such as steep embankments. Grade of forest tracks.

The 50000 maps we used were a mix of 1920s German ones (well out of date but superb quality) and US ones derived from satellites (up to date but low resolution). I preferred the German ones and used my imagination to interpret what had changed over half a century.

The diameter of trees relates to their ability to stop a tank. The distance between trees is normally also correlated to their size. IIRC there’s a happy medium where the trees are obstacles and are too close together to allow easy manoeuvre between. I think we had a page on this as a ‘ready reckoner’ in the Royal Engineers Pocket Book (REPB).

Edited for spelling
 
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Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
The diameter of trees relates to their ability to stop a tank. The distance between trees is normally also correlated to their size. IIRC there’s a happy medium where the trees are obstacles and are two close together to allow easy manoeuvre between. I think we had a page on this as a ‘ready reckoner’ in the Royal Engineers Pocket Book (REPB).

Yes. The mapping was for an armoured counter-thrust.
 

Zhopa

War Hero
Another interesting (to me at least) item on the Red Atlas website is a description of Exeter, another town I know well. It describes in considerable detail things like utilities, terrain and river characteristics, very obviously designed with armoured warfare and logistics in mind, followed by civilian control. It is also very obviously written by someone with detailed local knowledge, down to crane loading capabilities in the port. All those Corbyns running around.
All of that. We did similar mapping tours in the East by hand. Hours and hours of it to map a US counter-thrust from Bavaria into Thuringia.

On my first few trips into Sovland as a young innocent thing I was bewildered by the stern instructions not to even look as though you were taking photographs in the vicinity of bridges, railway stations, river ports etc. I thought it was just more daft Russian paranoia because what use would photos like that be to anybody. Enlightenment came much later.
 

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